KILLS TO EVADE ARREST.|
RIDDLES OFFICERS BODY.
Supposed Thief Slays Patrolman at New-Rochelle.
The policeman who was murdered In New-Rochelle.
| Patrolman Maurice Ahearn, of the New-Rochelle
force, was murdered early yesterday morning by a man, believed to be a burglar, whom he encountered
coming out of Rochelle Park, a fine residence section of that city, carrying a bag on his back. The murder
was one of the most vicious ever committed in New-Rochelle. The slayer literally riddled Ahearn's body with
bullets. The policeman died on the lawn of Joseph T. Brown, vice-president of the Knickerbocker Trust
Company. Colonel E. Lyman Bill, of the New-Rochelle Police Board, announced that the city would give a
reward of $500 for the detection of the murderer, and said that the Rochelle Park Association probably
would add $500 more.
The New-Rochelle Knights of Columbus, of which the murdered man was a
member have made arrangements with Dr. Longest, of Boston, for a pack of bloodhounds wherewith to
trace the murderer. The hounds are expected to arrive from Boston at 7 o'clock this morning, and will
at once be put on the murderer's trail. The murder occurred at about 1:15 o'clock directly in front of the
home of Mr. Brown, and across the street from the house of Mrs. J. H. Hawkins, a widow, who lives in No.
75 Manhattan-ave. Dr. W. F. Johnson, a young dentist, of New-York, who was at his bedroom window,
on the second floor of the Hawkins home, where he was boarding, was the only witness of the encounter.
|WOULDN'T TELL CONTENTS OF BAG.|
| Dr. Johnson says that he was aroused by
hearing some one talking loudly across the street. He went to the window, and saw that the policeman
had stopped a stranger and was questioning him. The stranger was short and thickset and carried a bag
over his shoulder. "You'll have to show me what you've got in that bag or I'll lock you up." Dr. Johnson heard
Ahearn say. "It's none of your business what's in the bag." replied the man gruffly. "The stuff that's in it
belongs to me, and that's all you need to know." Dr. Johnson noticed that the man spoke with an Italian
accent. "I believe you're a burglar," said Ahearn, as he took the stranger by the arm. "You'll have
to go over with me to the station house and give an account of yourself." Then the man suddenly grabbed
the policeman by the throat. Ahearn was a powerfully built man, with broad shoulders. When he saw that
the stranger meant to fight he at first wrestled with him on the lawn, and then, finding himself
evenly matched, drew his night stick and began to beat the man over the head. At each blow
the man would curse or give a shriek of pain.
Dr. Johnson says that the men fought over the lawn for fully five minutes, when
suddenly he heard Ahearn shout: "Help, help! I'm shot!" As Ahearn staggered backward and fell the
dentist noticed that he had his hand in his hip pocket, as if he had been trying to draw his revolver.
|EMPTIED WEAPON AFTER KILLING.|
| As the policeman lay on the ground the
murderer, who had started to run away, turned back and, standing over him, fired three more
shots. As he fired he exclaimed, "I'll show you what's in this bag!" He then walked coolly away toward the
main entrance of the park. Dr. Johnson rushed down-stairs and telephoned to the police. Then he
went out on the lawn and found several other neighbors who had been aroused by the shooting.
Sergeant Kelly sent out a general alarm to the police of New-York and the
Westchester and Connecticut towns, and, although within fifteen minutes after the crime was committed he
had half a dozen policemen scouring the park and surrounding country for the murderer, no trace
of the man was found.
Coroner Ulrich Wiesendanger, who lives in Yonkers, made a record drive across
country to New-Rochelle and arrived thirty-five minutes after he was called by telephone. He ordered the
body of the police man removed to the morgue, and joined in the search for the murderer.
|ONLY ONE CLEW LEFT BY MURDERER.|
| The only clew left by the murderer is some
sheathing, a coarse kind of straw used by florists in packing flowers. The police believe that he carried this
in the bag to prevent silverware from rattling. At noon yesterday Chief Timmons had not been informed that
any house in the park had been robbed. He said that if a burglary had been committed the thief
evidently had entered some furnished house which is unoccupied, and that the owners might not report it
for several days. He had his men looking up all of the unoccupied houses.
Angelo Bonevento, an Italian, was arrested at 8 a. m. by the Port Chester police,
on suspicion. He was taken to New-Rochelle in the afternoon. He is twenty-six years old and lives in
Greenwich. He carried a .32 caliber revolver, the same size as was used by the murderer, and
had fragments of burlap on his coat, which looked like the fragments of the sheathing found in the
roadway where the policeman struggled with his assailant. Sergeant Cody, who examined the revolver, is
of the opinion that it has not been fired off in several months. The Italian said he got the straw and burlap
on his coat from sleeping in a baker's wagon in Port Chester. The most suspicious indications
about the Italian are bloodspots on his clothing and a deep scratch on his face. He is unable
to explain how he received them.
The murdered policeman was known as one of the best men on the force. About
a year ago he encountered a burglar going through the park carrying a bag of stolen silverware, and
locked him up. The man proved to be a professional crook, and is now serving a term in Sing Sing Prison.
Ahearn probably would have captured his man yesterday morning if he could have drawn his revolver in time
to have fired the first shot, but when he reached to get it he must have found it entangled in a tobacco
pouch. His act in thrusting his tobacco pouch in his pocket with his revolver probably cost him his life.
Ahearn was single, about thirty-three years old. He had been a watchman and
policeman for seven years. He lived with his cousin, James Gahan, a builder, of New-Rochelle and
his only other relative in this country is a brother, Patrick Ahearn, of No. 204 East One hundred and seventh
st., Manhattan, an employe of the Metropolitan Street Railway Company.
| New-York Tribune 21 June 1903|